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BOOK REVIEW: Driver Confessional by David L. Winters

Posted by Julie on May 23, 2017 in Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Driver Confessional

Antonio, a law student and part-time  ride-share driver, cruises the streets of Washington, D.C. for his next fare. His gentle manner and Italian good looks lead many to confess more than they intended. On a particularly dark night, a mysterious woman bares her soul and throws Antonio into a world of secrets. With his police officer brother and close circle of friends, he must solve a murder and thwart international terrorists before its too late.

 

I love a creative premise. With Uber and Lyft as a major form of transportation in metropolitan areas, I wondered how long it would be before they would take place in fiction. DRIVER CONFESSIONAL uses the ride-share premise and wields a journey through DC that includes mystery, murder, and international intrigue. Antonio is a law student and driver who isn’t looking for trouble when he picks up his fares, but he finds it.

I loved the premise of this book and I wanted to love it. I had trouble getting into the book, and I believe more editing might have been helpful. The idea is there, but the follow-through just wasn’t there for me.

PURCHASE DRIVER CONFESSIONAL HERE.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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The Fictional Inauguration

Posted by Julie on January 21, 2017 in About Me, Julie Arduini, Writing |

Like much of America, I’m tuned into the Inauguration. No matter who is being sworn in as our new president, I make a point to watch. I love the traditions, and yes, the fashion and looks that surround everything.

There’s also what I think is the author brain. What is this person thinking? What if that one did this gesture, or said this? What are they talking about at that tea, anyway?

I thought I’d invite you into my imagination. If you could write a story about the inauguration, what POV, point of view, would you want to write from?

-The outgoing president

-The incoming president

-The outgoing first lady

-The incoming first lady

-The outgoing vice-president

-The incoming vice-president

-A child of the outgoing president

-A child of the incoming president

-A former president attending the event

-A secret service agent on detail

-A member of the military involved

-A member of the media covering the event

-A citizen attending the event

-Someone else (Who?)

 

What would you write about? Would it be suspense? Romance? Thriller? I know some of you are already thinking horror, I see you.

 

My guess is not everyone thinks like this, but it’s a rainy day and I thought it would be fun to imagine.

 

Share in the comments or on Facebook. If you don’t follow me on social media, I’m everywhere, including snapchat, @JulieArduini.

 

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Lillian Duncan: Giving Up VS. Surrendering

Posted by Julie on September 15, 2016 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Giving up VS. Surrendering

Giving up VS. Surrendering. No one wants to give up in a situation. On the other hand, surrendering to God is what Christians should want to do in any situation, right? So what’s the difference?

In 2012, I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors and subsequently a genetic disease called Neurofibromatosis Type 2. To say it came as a shock is a bit of an understatement. Nevertheless, I was determined to face it in a godly manner.

But I had no idea what was to come!

It’s now 2016 and I’m still getting treated for them. At the time I was diagnosed, the doctors said it would take two years to complete the treatment. But that’s not been the case with me, and I’m still not finished. I’m about to start chemotherapy for the third time.

I don’t have the time or space to get into specifics but these past four years have been filled with more ups and downs and curves than a roller coaster ride. I’m completely deaf in one ear and have lost much of my hearing in the other. I also have balance problems that affect my mobility and my daily life.

However I am still committed to facing the situation in a godly manner, but it’s not always been easy to do that. One of the questions that I faced was if I surrender to God’s Will isn’t that the same as giving up.

After lots of Bible study and prayer, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not the same at all. Surrendering the situation to God is about accepting God’s Will even when it’s not what we want. Surrendering the situation to God is about staying in His peace and joy in spite of difficult circumstances. Surrendering the situation to God is about trusting and believing God still loves us even when the situation doesn’t resolve itself the way we want.

Giving up means not having hope; in God we always have hope.

In my latest novel, GAME ON, Nikki Kent is a private investigator with her own surrender story. As a new Christian, she’s trying to learn to do the right thing. When the man who broke her heart years ago shows up needing her help, she wants to refuse.

First because she’s still hurt and angry and second because she can’t take a chance on her own secret coming to light. Even as she tells him no, God tells her that it’s the right thing to do. But it’s the last thing she wants to do. Still in the end she puts her trust in God and surrenders the situation to Him.

What’s Nikki’s secret that she is so intent on keeping hidden? You’ll have to read the book to find out! Game On is filled with enough twists and turns that it should keep any reader turning those pages late into the night. I really had fun writing it and hope readers will have fun reading it.

My publisher outdid herself with the book trailer for GAME ON so I hope you’ll check it out at: https://youtu.be/t6MK2UGB1P0.

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate the release of GAME ON, I’m giving away a virtual basket of goodies on my blog that includes Amazon gift cards. For all the details go to Tiaras & Tennis Shoes. Simply leave a comment on the blog post GAME ON at www.lillian-duncan.com and you’ll be entered.

AMAZON LINK

PELICAN BOOKS LINK

BLURB for GAME ON

duncanPolitics is no game when a stalker nears and there’s nowhere to hide. A run for the senate is just a step on the road to the White House for Congressman Lucas McMann. But his public profile has put him in the middle of a crazed gunman’s twisted game of stalking. If he wants to win the election and reclaim his life, he’ll need the help of the one person who’d rather leave their past behind them. Private Investigator Nikki Kent knows how to dig up secrets and discover those who exist in the shadows. She should. She’s good at hiding secrets of her own. Can she risk her own discovery for someone so desperate for her help? For the first man who broke her heart? With new-found faith, she’ll help Lucas search for the answers. But with the truth comes a danger they must face together.

BIO:

Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in Ohio Amish country with her husband. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense and mystery with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. To learn more about Lillian, you may visit her at www.lillianduncan.net or www.lillian-duncan.com. She also has a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com.

 

 

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Book Review: When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

Posted by Julie on August 3, 2016 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |
When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

Book Description:
Gwen Marcey takes death in stride. Until she’s faced with her own mortality.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before Gwen can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others.

Gwen suspects a connection between the rapist and the “accidental” deaths that are happening around town, but the local sheriff has little interest in her theories. When her digitally-obsessed teenage daughter joins her, Gwen turns her attention to a second assignment: going undercover in a serpent-handling church. She could get a handsome reward for uncovering illegal activity—a reward she desperately needs, as it seems her breast cancer has returned. But snakes aren’t the only ones ready to kill. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

In a thrilling race against time, When Death Draws Near plunges us into cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects.

This was a ride, and a wild one at that. I am deathly afraid of snakes. I can’t look at stuffed animal snakes, cartoon ones, none of it. So I wasn’t sure how I would do with this book that tackles snake-handling in church.

I confess, I couldn’t read it at night. There was only one scene that was scary for me, but the thought of it made me read during the day, and I really enjoyed it. It is obvious the author thoroughly researched this book. The characters were so well-developed, especially Gwen. This is not the first book in her series, but it definitely can stand alone. I learned a lot about her. Single mom. Cancer Survivor. Forensic Artist.

I enjoyed her daughter working with her, and that I could not figure out why was good, and who was evil. As Gwen kept saying, “Trust no one.”

I hope you trust me, though. When Death Draws Near is a suspenseful plot I’ve never run across before that keeps you on edge. It’s dynamic, humorous at times, and full of action.  I definitely recommend it.

To purchase When Death Draws Near, click here.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Missing by Lisa Harris

Posted by Julie on July 23, 2016 in Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |
Missing by Lisa Harris

Missing by Lisa Harris

Nikki Boyd Enters the Deadly World of Counterfeit Drugs to Find a Missing Woman

Nikki Boyd isn’t usually called in on homicides; her forte is missing persons. But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she’s ready to start the investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson. When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend Tyler Grant–and another dead body–Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business–including Nikki.

Christy Award-winning and bestselling author Lisa Harris puts readers right into the action in this fast-paced thriller that will have them turning pages long into the night.

Although this is Book 2 in the Nikki Boyd Files, I believe this could also be a stand-alone. Nikki’s called into a case that is close for comfort—her deceased best friend’s dad and husband are in the middle of a homicide and missing person’s case. Not only does Nikki have to get to the bottom of it, she has to fight her growing feelings for the handsome widower.

I love this series and Missing is just as good as Vendetta. There’s great suspense filled with emotion. Nikki is a strong heroine who carries the book and series well. I felt there was great conflict and action, but she wasn’t a cardboard character. She had emotions and fears without compromising her job. I also enjoyed the role Tyler plays. Is he part of the crime? Can he be trusted? Is it wrong for Nikki to feel the way she does about him? All these things kept me turning the pages, and I felt more than satisfied at the conclusion.

If you love action, suspense, crime, and a touch of romance, I believe you’ll be more than satisfied with MISSING, too.

To purchase MISSING, click here.

I received a copy from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Always Watching by Lynette Eason

Posted by Julie on February 11, 2016 in Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have more than just skill and prowess in common–they’re also all women. When it becomes clear that popular psychiatrist and radio personality Wade Savage has a stalker, his father secretly hires Elite Guardians in order to protect his son.

But when Wade’s bodyguard is attacked and nearly killed, agency owner Olivia Edwards must step in and fill the gap. Olivia’s skills are about to be tested to the limit as Wade’s stalker moves from leaving innocent gifts at his door to threatening those closest to him. Olivia has the feeling that she’s next on the list. And to complicate things even further, she realizes that her heart may be in as much danger as her client.

Bestselling author and fan favorite Lynette Eason drops readers right into the action in this fast-paced new series with a unique twist. Readers will love these strong female characters who put it all on the line to save lives.

Always Watching by Lynette Eason is a must read for suspense fan.

Always Watching by Lynette Eason is a must read for suspense fan.

Lynette Eason is one of those top notch suspense authors I think the world needs to hear more about. ALWAYS WATCHING starts with action and does not let up. No one on the Elite Guardians team is safe, but they are professionals in what they do. I especially liked that although there were sparks between Wade and Olivia, she didn’t lose her mind and forget how to do her job. Another element I liked was the tension between Wade and his father. There are a lot of layers in that relationship, but without his father interfering, Wade wouldn’t have the protection he has in Olivia.

I loved ALWAYS WATCHING and if you like suspense and/or romantic suspense, this book is for you. I highly recommend.

To purchase ALWAYS WATCHING, click here.

I received ALWAYS WATCHING from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



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